Magical Blooms: Los Angeles Wedding Vendor Spotlight
Happy almost Valentine’s Day! Nothing says Valentine’s Day like beautiful, fresh flowers. Today for our wedding vendor spotlight, we are highlighting Jenny Barker from Magical Blooms, based in Redondo Beach, California. Jenny is truly a passionate and gifted artist, able to create exquisite floral masterpieces in under 3 minutes only.
When did you discover that flowers were your passion?
The point that I discovered that flowers were my passion was pretty much when I became my own boss, even though I wasn’t, at the flower shop when I was in high school because I was able to take initiative and I was able to get applauded and rewarded and it made someone’s day.
On your website, it says that you drew inspiration from your grandfather who is British. Is he the one who inspired you to get into floral design?
I was raised by my grandparents and I’m so thankful because they taught me to speak proper, be proper, and were all about presentation. You would walk into the room and everything was properly placed. The silverware was polished, everything was always vacuumed and nice– pristine. As a kid, I liked things clean because it made me feel more zen and calm, and things that were crazy didn’t make me feel as healthy. So how I contributed to the house was by asking my grandpa if I could go to the garden to pick flowers. When the house is beautiful my touch was always to put flowers in a room, so it’s like, “Oh, Jenny’s been here”. So that’s how it originated. My grandpa being from an English background, he would have beautiful roses in his garden and he had an eclectic garden where he was very hands on.
I liked putting flowers in the room because I brought life to the room. And that’s how we came up with our slogan here at Magical Blooms, “A room with flowers is a room with life.”
What advice do you have for brides and grooms as they begin their search for a florist for their wedding day?
My best advice for brides and grooms is to be really realistic with their vision because there’s fantasy and there’s reality. I feel like it’s based on the time of year, based on your favorite color; you don’t have to do a certain thing just because “someone says”. Like, there’s a lot of trendsetting with color themes for the year, or looks, and if you’re not a person that’s creative there are these great resources if you want to follow a trend of what’s cool. But if you have a certain thing that you kinda secretly have in your head that you’re embarrassed to share with the florist, like it’s important to speak up and say what you’ve kind of envisioned. Because some florists will be like, “Oh no, sorry” and some florists might be leaning in towards “Tell me more about what your ideas are”. Because it can be something really simple like say you imagined a wedding that the colors on Pinterest don’t exist. Well, it’s okay to explore and try something new. Or say you have an old vase, and your grandma passed away and you want your grandma’s spirit to be at the wedding–you can involve that somehow, you can talk to your florist. If you have extra dress hem from your wedding gown, you can use that to be wrapped around your wedding bouquet, extra fabric from your bridesmaids to get that exact color. There’s no real wrong or right way, it’s just fun to play and have fun. When you’re ordering flowers from a florist, it doesn’t have to be all serious and stressful. It should be, in my opinion, the most fun because you’re able to work with an artist. And really, flowers is what makes an event bring life. Because you’re sitting at a table, so what if you have these pretty linens, if you don’t have the right centerpiece or a container for your table, then it’s going to make your guests sit differently, speak differently at the table, it’s a fact. If you have a chandelier tall arrangement, people sit more proper, and they’re even dressed for the wedding more differently than if you have a casual wedding, a casual vase, then people tend to slouch and kick back and have looser conversations even. So flowers are a big deal to me with a wedding. So it’s good when you’re starting to meet with a florist to start brainstorming your colors and pull some pictures to be inspired by.
What are some things that help you to design for a couple?
What inspires you the most?
There are two things that inspire me the most. One is music, believe it or not. When I have good music playing in the shop, I’m more inspired about designing a cooler, amazing piece, if the music’s bumping in here. Everyone knows that about the shop. And as far as when I’m shopping (and I have music in my ears), right now Japanese product is killing it. Japanese product is the bomb. It’s the best product. If you see a ranunculus grown in Southern California, their tiny normal heads, and then you see the Italian and Japanese, and they’re giant and huge and mouthwatering. European product right now is just killing it. Like everything you could think of growing hydroponically indoors and it’s available almost year around. But that’s very inspiring to me.
Another thing that inspires me is if I know why I’m designing flowers. One of the things why here at Magical Blooms is we have no arrangements sitting in the cooler is because I want to know why I’m designing the flowers, what’s my intention? Because I can’t design something unless I’m inspired. So if I hear the storyline behind why someone’s having a funeral, what happened to them, or like this person–it’s their birthday, and this is the style of their home, you know I’ve been getting a lot of cancer patients, that are going in for treatments and they need a little pick me up, something to make them feel better. So if I hear a backstory on something then that to me is really inspiring.
What is your favorite flower?
Since day one, it’s been the Passiflora passion vine. I describe it as an outer galactic cosmo-planet flower. It opens during the day and closes at night and it’s on a vine and it has really cool spiral staples on it and cool leaves and they’re wildflowers and being from England, the British background, not even being aware at the time, a lot of china has Passiflora vine flowers on it. And my favorite teacups to drink out of when I was little had flowers on them so I have to say that that’s been my ultimate favorite.
When you find your florist that you really love and connect with, hire them! Put the deposit down and hire them. Commit to working with them. And with me here at Magical Blooms, you’re not making a commitment just to do flowers for a wedding with us, we’re going to be friends for life, meaning if you have kids, I’m going to do your baby shower, if your husband wants to order more flowers for anniversaries or birthdays, or he screwed up, or you’re having a hard day or a bad day, you’re sick….I’m really trying to make connections for the long term. So that when it’s your best friend’s wedding, there’s no question in their mind: “Oh I want to use Jenny too.”
Enjoy this clip where Jenny talks about the moment she knew she would be a florist as a profession and get a little insight into her design and creation process!
To get in touch with Jenny and to find out more about Magical Blooms:
1417 S Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, California 90277